January 13, 2015

When Clinton Ignored Pleas To Label Boko Haram A Terror Group

Last week, news reports emerged of an horrific attack by Nigerian terrorist group Boko Haram that left 2,000 dead in the country’s northeast. Yesterday, AFP reported that Cameroon’s army stepped up a military counteroffensive targeting members of Boko Haram, to undermine its campaign of terror across Nigeria and Cameroon. The group first attracted widespread international media attention last April after kidnapping hundreds of young girls from their schools. Since the kidnapping, Boko Haram has stepped up its attacks and declared an Islamic caliphate in Nigeria.

Shortly after the kidnapping though, the Daily Beast’s Josh Rogin reported that Hillary Clinton’s State Department refused to designate Boko Haram a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO), ignoring the pleas of the Justice Department, FBI, CIA, and “over a dozen senators and congressmen.” Counterterrorism and Intelligence Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Patrick Meehan (R-PA) argued that earlier FTO designation would have put law enforcement in a better position to deal with Boko Haram, but that designation was rejected because the administration was saying that “Al Qaeda was on the run and our argument ran counter to that.” Boko Haram was already responsible for thousands of deaths, had bombed the U.N. headquarters in Nigeria in 2011, and had been in contact with Osama bin Laden.

With 10,000 people killed by Boko Haram in the last year alone, Hillary Clinton’s refusal to take action brings her failed choices as Secretary of State into focus.